This memoir offers an interesting case study, a subjective addition to the objective-historical works on Central and Eastern European state socialism. It describes the hard choices of intellectuals in a totalitarian state: remain in isolation, concentrate on scholarly works, and exclude politics in your personal life; be in opposition, criticize and unveil the regime, accept discrimination and exclusion; and, remain within the establishment and work for reforming the country using legal possibilities to criticize the regime and to achieve changes from within. Berend's memoir raises basic historical questions and debates, compares East European and American higher education systems, and presents an eyewitness' insights on life in the United States.
Ivan T. Berend is Distinguished Professor at the University of California Los Angeles and one of the masterminds of regime change in Hungary. Prof. Berend had a full academic career in his home country.
List of photos; Introduction and Acknowledgement; My Family in Budapest in the 1930s; The End of Childhood; Dachau-and the Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft's Conference in Munich; The Gebirgsjagerschule in Mittenwald; Where is my Home?; The 1956 Revolution in My Life; My Universities; A Widening World, Learning by Traveling; In the International Community of Historians: Friends All Over the World; Experiencing and Writing History: a Special Friend, Books and Debates; Teaching in Two Different University Systems; My Globalized Family; In the Establishment; In the Storm of the Regime Change; Leaving Hungary for Los Angeles; America; References